100% sushi-fueled cosplayer photo-stalking
I’ve just managed to get home alive from Anime North, probably Canada’s (or at least, Toronto’s) biggest anime convention. It’s 3 days long and is filled with otaku who are 10x more crazy about anime than you are, no matter what stage you’re in. It’s a hectic place saturated with people, colours, excitement, and a whole lot of merchandise that will drain your bank account. Maybe some of you go to cons, some of you don’t, but I’m going to try and give you the highlights of what it’s like to get out there and push through throngs of people in insane costumes all day. It’s like all the visual amusement without the body odour! Convenience at its best!
It is a bad, bad day to be an employee at Harvey’s.
The great thing about Anime North is that you are bombarded with crowds of otaku the moment you get off the bus. The akatsuki swarms around Harvey’s, Tim Horton’s is surrounded by at least 5 Naruto’s and there are lines of Hatsune Miku as far as the eye can see in front of ice cream trucks. Half of the shock is just walking outside to get to the bloody entrance and seeing all these cosplayers: some magnificent and others, well, they AIM for magnificence, I guess. It’s all about the atmosphere of feeling “unified” with your fellow otaku, which is very hard to put in words. Just know that the first I went I started screeching like a parrot and hitting my friend in excitement. All. day.
ARTIST’S ALLEY/DEALER’S ROOM
Some of the swag I got for myself and/or my friends
I’ll get back to cosplay later, I promise. Skipping the waiting in line part, the first thing you see when you get in the building is row upon row of DeviantART artists sitting in booths and selling their art. Pins, posters, keychains – you name it! It’s a bit expensive at times, but the art is often worth it. For whatever reason, this section often features wrestling. Yes, wrestling. I WISH I KNEW. Attached is the dealer’s room, where all your anime and manga goods are. Pro tip: go early on Friday if you want to snatch up all the good manga before it’s gone. It’s obscenely cheap, and they have a huge selection. Want neon green dog ears? Red contact lenses? Spikes on spikes on spikes on a collar? You’re also covered. They literally have everything.
I didn’t want to take a creeper pic inside the panel, so enjoy MOANING LESQ instead
Across the street is a hotel in which there are panels (also, a maid cafe. Maybe next year, guys). You go into a room and hear about 4 otaku talk about a certain topic for a while. It’s like a podcast except you see the people, it’s live, and you can interact. To be honest, most panels at AN are kind of lame since they’re all hosted by anti-social otaku and ANYONE can be a panelist as long as they e-mail the dude in charge. Nonetheless, I went to a panel about Food in Anime which raised some interesting points such as how the food preferences of a character often define them, food-based anime like Toriko, gender roles and cooking…It had a lot of awkward pauses, but at the very least it gave me a GREAT editorial topic *wink wink*
Aside from panels, the hotel is also used for letting people watch anime. I watched some Steins;Gate, Hanasaku Iroha and .hack//Quantum. All of which I’ve seen already and like (Hato and I command you to watch Quantum if you haven’t already) but it’s more fun with more people. They also played My Little Pony, but I missed it. XD
Cosplaying is really, really fun. It’s expensive and I suck at it, but I don’t really care. You’ll find all the best cosplayers either outside, waiting patiently for people to take photos, or in the hotel. If you end up cosplaying as someone from a popular series, you can always participate in a photoshoot! This year was my first photoshoot, so hopefully you don’t mind a little extra Durarara!! love in this post. Special thanks to my buddy for taking photos of everyone with my camera! (Fun bonus! Guess which Izaya I am!)
DRRR!! photoshoot: Show ▼
DAWWW LITTLE KIDDY COSPLAY
And now what you’ve all been waiting for. You don’t care about the raves, how I made new friends or even how temperamental the weather was. Just sit back, click the spoiler tags, and enjoy some fanservice. If my crop of screenshots weren’t enough, slide on over to Daifuuku and read Orange-sama’s post. Overcooled over and out! (BONUS! Try to guess who everyone is cosplaying as!)
Cosplay Pic Barrage!: Show ▼